Recorder player and conductor Giovanni Antonini is one of the leaders of the Italian period instrument movement. He studied flute and recorder in his native Milan, attending the Civica Scuola di Musica in that city and the Centre de Musique Ancienne in Geneva. He became a leading recorder soloist, and has appeared with Gustav Leonhardt, Christoph Coin, and Katia and Marielle Labèque. He regularly appears at leading music festivals and has made several European tours, as well as trips to Malaysia, Japan, Canada, and the United States. In 1985, he became a founding member of Il Giardino Armonico (The Harmonic Garden), an original instruments group founded in Milan by a select group of international-caliber period instrument players, all of whom graduated from various European universities and conservatories after specialized study in original instruments technique and interpretation and in musical research. Il Giardino Armonico was one of the earliest important original instruments ensembles in Italy, whose musical culture was not quick to embrace the "authenticity" movement. Antonini and Il Giardino Armonico have been credited with beginning to raise interest in period performance in Italy. In 1989, Antonini became one of the directors of the organization and began to conduct the ensemble. He has directed their appearances on the Teldec and London (Decca) labels, winning leading recording awards, including the Diapason d'Or, Choc de la Musique, Grand Prix des Discophiles, the Gramophone Award, the Echo-Preis, the Cecila Award of Belgium, and the Fondazione Cini Award of Venice. Their very first recording, in 1992, won the Vivaldi Record Prize. Antonini's conducting of Il Giardino Armonico has included performances of Baroque operas such as Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, Handel's Agrippina, and Pergolesi's La Serva padrona. He is also a regular conductor of the Settimane Bach of Milan and has appeared as guest conductor with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra in the Canary Islands, the Salzburg Camerata Academica, and the Galicia Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the oratorio Il martirio di San Lorenzo by Francesco Bartolomeo Conti at the Salzburg Festival, its first performance in modern times. In 2004, he conducted the Berlin Philharmonic and toured with the Münchner Kammerorchester in 2008. Later, he conducted on recordings of Verdi's I vespri siciliani and Vivaldi's Ottone in villa.
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Symphonic Music - Released November 10, 2017 | Alpha
Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Haydn2032, the ambitious project of recording the complete symphonies of Haydn, has been placed from the start under the artistic direction of Giovanni Antonini, with two ensembles, Il Giardino Armonico, which made the first four volumes, and the Kammerochester Basel, to which this fifth volume and the next two are assigned. Another characteristic of the edition is that each time Haydn is set in perspective with another composer; here it is Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-92): ‘Kraus was the first man of genius that I met. Why did he have to die? It is an irreparable loss for our art. The Symphony in C minor he wrote in Vienna specially for me is a work which will be considered a masterpiece in every century’, said Haydn in 1797. Though he long remained forgotten after his death, Kraus made an active contribution to the movement of poetic renewal called ‘Sturm und Drang’ or ‘Geniezeit’ (time of genius) because such artists as the young Goethe broke free of all tradition to follow their hearts alone. When Haydn called Kraus homme de génie, in French, he probably had this context in mind. The two composers had met in Vienna in 1783. © Alpha Classics
Classical - Released March 10, 2017 | Alpha
Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award
The fourth volume of the Haydn2032 project thrusts into the limelight one of the most important stock characters in the theatre of sounds and words, the Kapellmeister, and explores some glamorous and (in)glorious moments in the career of Maestro Haydn. It features three symphonies by the ‘Shakespeare of Music’ – one of which is even associated with an actual play. This bears the title ‘Sinfonia in C. per la commedia intitolata Il distratto’ (the name of the play soon became the symphony’s nickname) and consists of an overture, four entr’actes, and a finale to be played at the end of the performance. Also on this disc is a large-scale buffo scene by his colleague Cimarosa. Il maestro di cappella is a witty and ironic parody, in which a member of the ‘old school’ of musicians tries to improve the ensemble playing of his orchestra. To his chagrin, the players do react, but in extremely undisciplined fashion: they are distracted, make false entries and disagree musically... (Text from Alpha Classics)
Full Operas - Released November 8, 2010 | Naive
Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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